I am thrilled to welcome Miss Ashley Kassab as my Guest Blogger today. Ashley is an expert in fashion and travel. Here are her suggestions to make your Summer Holiday packing more streamlined.
When I’m on holiday I’m all about simplicity. I tend to pack light and I stick to a neutral palette. The last thing I want is to waste precious vacation time agonizing over what to wear. Without further ado, here’s a list of my holiday essentials.
1. A button down shirt
My first holiday essential is a button down shirt. I especially love slightly oversized striped ones that have that ‘borrowed from the boys’ vibe. The beauty of a button down shirt lies in its versatility –whether worn undone over a bathing suit or paired casually with denim shorts, a button down just works.
2. A pair of white shorts
My next essential is a pair of white shorts. Denim, basic cotton or even crocheted (like these luxe Chloé ones… *swoon*), white shorts have a light, airy feel to them and really complement a tan.
3. A pair of sunglasses
My third essential is a pair of sunglasses. It’s no secret that I love sunglasses –gradient or mirrored lenses, a solid-coloured or tortoiseshell frame, I love them all. Is this an obvious choice? Yes, but you shouldn’t underestimate the ability of a pair of sunglasses (like these amazing Fendi ones) to make a bold statement and complete a look.
4. A small bag
Last but certainly not least on my list of holiday essentials is a small bag that can easily transition from day to night. I would recommend bringing a bag in a neutral colour that either has a detachable strap, like this Saint Laurent one, or that can be converted into a clutch, like a wallet on chain.
Obviously you want multiple tops and bottoms that you can mix and match over your Holiday. But don't go overboard, you really need a lot less than you think. Bon Voyage!
I love having people over at our house. Even though I am not the most social of butterflies, I love to fuss over a table, prepare something exquisitely simple, and relax over a bottle of wine with friends.
The thing about entertaining people is that the details matter. Whether it is brunch or dinner the idea is to enjoy each other's company for a few concentrated hours. I like to make that time feel special making the table look special.
First find a few images from around the web to help inspire you with an overall look. You don't have to drag out your best tablecloth and the iron. A simple runner makes a huge difference to the look of the table and set the mood of the event; from playful to sophisticated. You can coordinate your candles and flowers or lay out your dishes to share.
Placemats are another alternative to full table cloth. The protect your table while adding color and texture.
Create Your Own Look
Then, make it your own. Remember those dishes that you have tucked away for special occassions? Well, Hello?!?! Bring them out. Or that little trinket you fell in love with and just had to buy? Make it the center of the table.
The only rules that I follow are
Simple Touches - Big Impact
The biggest impact can often come from the smallest thing. Here are my top 3 favorite little details.
Most importantly, have fun with it! If you want to try and make it look like a magazine - Go For It! If you want it to be minimalist chic - Do It! Just take a chance. If it doesn't turn out exactly the way you wanted it, try again next time. In the end, it's all about having fun and socializing with your friends and family.
I am so very lucky to welcome Ms. Michelle Booker as my guest blogger today. Michelle is the founder of Sense of Self, Inc and an expert in helping women develop a healthy self image. If you would like to learn more about Sense of Self or to support her cause, visit her website at yoursenseofself.com
I’m speaking from experience here. I was that wife and that mom that gave 100% of my time to my family and neglected my own needs and wants. My life was totally out of balance, until I was forced to take a step back and reevaluate some things. I had managed to pour everything I had into everyone around me and I was left empty and disconnected from myself. I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to be any good to anyone if I continued down that path. I discovered that in order for me to achieve some type of balance, I needed some space...some “Me Time.” I let go of those feelings of guilt that I felt for taking time out for myself and in that space, I was able to think, to create and to reconnect to Michelle.
I also realized that as important as it was to have that quality “Me Time”, it was equally important for me to bond with other women. Just like plenty of women out there, I’ve gone through some pretty tough things in my life. However, I like to think that my trials and tribulations have served some type of purpose. My desire to share my life experiences with other women is why I established my nonprofit, Sense Of Self, Inc. I wanted to reach back to those who may be going through some of the things I went through, so I started hosting my S.O.S “Girls Night Out” Wellness Parties. The focus of the parties is on self-awareness and feeling good about yourself inside and out. I like to think of them as an empowering “Girls Night Out.”
Girls Night In or Out?
I like to put these gatherings into 2 categories. There’s the type where you and your girlfriends actually stay in and get together. Maybe sip some wine and have heart to heart discussions about life. A Girls Night “In” I guess you can call it. The other is a true “Girls Night Out” where you and the girls get all dolled up for a night on the town. Both are special in there own ways and both are a fun outlet that allows you to be you. Not mom, not wife, not whatever job title you hold career-wise. Just YOU!!
A Girls Night In are the times when you and the girls hang out and there’s lots of laughing, listening, releasing and healing going on. The times when you really have the opportunity to uplift, encourage and empower one another. You’re learning from other’s experiences and providing a support system for those in need. When you’re surrounded
by your friends, you’re surrounded by a group of positive people in your life who know you, love you and want nothing but the best for you.
Then there’s the Girls Night Out. These are the times when you and the girls go out for a night on the town. Dinner, dancing, concerts...whatever! The most important part of this type of night though, is getting ready. There’s an art form to getting dressed for a night out with the girls and it’s so much more fun when you’re getting dressed together. We’re women, it’s what we do. Putting on that outfit that accentuates your curves, wearing those heels that make you feel sexy...it’s how we celebrate our femininity. How does this look? Should I wear my hair like this way? Which shoes match better? What earrings go better with this outfit? Every time your girlfriend tells you that something looks good on you or tells you how pretty you look, that compliment serves as a self-
What it really does for you
This type encouragement fills you with a fierce, fearless spirit that has you stepping into a room feeling like you’re the hottest thing in the place. You know that feeling you get when you know you look good. You have a sense of pride, a sense of worthiness, a SENSE OF SELF. It makes you feel more confident. Everybody has their own set of insecurities, but you trust your friends opinions. Sometimes, you trust their opinions even more than you trust your own. You know they’re not going to let you leave the house looking crazy. Let me rephrase that....GOOD friends won’t let you leave the house looking crazy.
For the women out there who are long overdue for a Girls Night Out, I strongly recommend that that you and your friends mark a date on the calendar. The inspiration I used to write this my blog came from me having just spent some quality me time on a flight to San Francisco to host a S.O.S. Wellness Party. Great things come from time spent wisely. Oooh the things you can accomplish when you have that special time to bond with yourself and bond with your friends. You come back revived, renewed, ready to take care of business and full of positivity. Everyone around you benefits from that energy. When you’re happy and fulfilled, you make those around you feel happy and fulfilled. So in a way, I think it’s safe to say that having worldwide Girls Night Outs can create WORLD PEACE!! Okay, that might be pushing it, but there sure would be a lot of happy women floating around.
“As iron sharpens iron...so a friend sharpens a friend.” PROVERBS 27:17